Saturday, February 15, 2020

HOUSTON SABERCATS SEASON OPENER



We didn't realize we had some rugby fans that follow the blog.  Several of you asked how our local professional rugby team did last weekend (a week ago today actually) in their season opener and did we have any pictures to share?  The Houston Sabercats played the Colorado Raptors.

I took several hundred pictures (using the repeat shutter mode does that).

Here are a few (as always click to enlarge):


The game started and we scored almost immediately.


Rugby is such an amazing sport.  These guys do this with virtually no protection.  A friend of ours was as a game recently and said "they have no helmets and no padding!".


The guys are athletes for sure and without a doubt it's a rough and tumble sport 


This is called a scrum, one of many.


It was a great game with scoring back and forth between both teams but in the end...


...we were victorious!

Sabercats 21 Raptors 12


A really cool thing that rugby teams do is after the game, each player makes their way along the stands to shake hands, give high fives or just say thanks to each fan who stays.

You can tell by the smiles on their faces that they love interacting with the fans.


Speaking of fans, this season we have a new member of the team.  We have a mascot!  He's a Sabercat (of course) and his name is SCRATCH!  What a great personality he has and he is very fan friendly as well!

Here's to a great season!



Friday, February 14, 2020

VALENTINES DAY 2020


Well here it is, the holiday that people either love to love or love to hate. 

If you're single, maybe you hate it.

If you're dating or married, maybe you love it.
(of course maybe you hate it then too).

Around here, sometimes we do cards, sometimes we do candy, but we always try to have a nice dinner.  Usually in, sometimes out.  If we do dine out, we always do it on another night out around the holiday so we don't have to fight the crowds.

So what about the day?  How do you feel about the holiday?  Is it too commercial now?  Do you quietly celebrate in your own way?  We always say how much we love each other regardless of the day.  But hey, just like most any of the other holidays that you could argue are too commercialized, they are still fun to celebrate in some small way.


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

NEW TRAIL CAM

And lastly, some of you probably remember when we would post videos and pictures from one of our trail cams we had set up.  Well one died completely and the other is just working sporadically.  They are rated for outdoor use of course but I guess after a couple of years in our extreme weather they just stopped working completely.


So we had to order a new one.  Since we weren't sure this time around, we just ordered one.  It's basically the newer version of the ones we had.  

I put it up on a post on the porch.


I guess the settings are more sensitive that the last ones or have more options because in a whole week, this is all we captured.  There was a video captured as well and this was two deer that ran through the front yard (in the video you see a second one).  

There were other pictures captured but there was nothing living on the image.  Just still photos of the front yard but no animals or birds or even a Bigfoot.   Something triggered it to take a photo but nothing there.  Probably wind or leaves or something.

So this past weekend I adjusted the sensitivity and repositioned it and we'll see what we capture this week.  We would rather have some of the daytime photos because you can make out much more detail. Unless the night photo is a bobcat or coyote or something like that, then that's OK too.  

The deer still being around reminds us that we have to start thinking ahead to fruit bearing season and how we will prevent them from eating all the fruit.

Monday, February 10, 2020

RAINY DAYS AND SUNDAYS

Well Saturday was a blast, more on that tomorrow, but Sunday was, well...


Not anything like Saturday.  It was overcast, sprinkling and just a general messy day.  Since it was not going to be a productive day for both of us to be there, 2nd Man stayed in town and I went out because if nothing else, I had to get the Zen Machine ready to be picked up for its appointment.

When I got unloaded and sat on the porch for a bit to get ready, it opened up and poured rain.  For about 3 minutes.  Then it was back to gray and heavy clouds.  I realized as I went to the mower shed, the ground was not wet.  The rain was brief and just didn't get much wet.  I decided to see what I could get done.

I didn't really have to mow but I did make a few passes around the driveway and front yard just to keep things tidy. Then I started on what I had originally wanted to do...brush clearing!

Here are some examples:


This whole area was overgrown with brush.  It's all dormant now so it is easy to mow over.  The area around the white lines is newly clear.  Prior to this we couldn't even walk through here. 


Now this photo is a bit different.  This is off the driveway (at the top part of the photo).  The narrow path between the white lines is where I used to mow.  That was it.  Just a path the width of the mower deck.  Now you can see how much more space has been cleared out.

All of that inside the white lines is new space.


Here is another example. Again, all the stuff outside the white lines is newly cleared.  You might ask why I didn't just go ahead and clear all of it.  Well these are mesquite trees.  You can see that they grow really low to the ground.  On a riding mower it actually hurts to get too close to them (thorns).


Same thing on these.  I cleared all of this area, creating new paths through the trees but couldn't get very close to the trees themselves.  However, this will make it easier to get underneath and trim branches. Then I can use the trimmer to clear the rest of the grass and it will eventually be easier to get to.


In some areas I just create whole new paths that didn't exist before like this meandering path...


...and in other areas I just widen the existing ones.  Over the course of a couple of seasons the sides of the places I mow start to encroach on the path.  Above is an example of widening a path.  I take advantage of the off season and clear them back again making it easier to keep neat and tidy.  

Sure, this may give me more to mow, but over time as it stays cleared, they don't grow back as fast and eventually it just become grass without the brush.  Much easier to maintain.


Alas, as much fun as I was having, I checked the radar and rain was moving back into the area.  I parked the mower outside, let it cool down and then I covered it using the same method as a couple of seasons ago when the same thing happened, rain on the mower pick up day.  I covered it with a plastic painter's tarp and with wind blowing, I took some rocks and put them around to weigh it down.

We need to get a cover for it.  It stays in the shed year round but there are a few times like this when it does sit outside so a cover would be good to have on standby for use when needed.

As this posts, they should be picking it up and it will get all the fluids changed, belts inspected and tightened, filters changed and blades sharpened.  They also wash it and make it look pretty, ha!

Hope you had a good weekend, tomorrow more on the rugby game.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

FUN WEEKEND AHEAD

Many weekends lately, especially in the Winter months are lazy and we get a break.  This weekend though will be busy, for a change.

 

First up is the season opener of our city's rugby team, the Houston Sabercats.  We have season tickets and this will be the first season with all games at the new stadium.  We are looking forward to it.  The stadium is really nice and our section will have in-seat food and drink.  We downloaded an app, loaded the payment info and then we can just tap what we want and they bring it to us with no standing in lines.  We LIKE that idea, though it might be easy to overdo, moderation!

For those who are curious about rugby and/or want to see our team and new stadium, for the first time ever, the game will be aired live on ESPN! 11am CST.  Our seats are center field section just a couple rows back.  Look for us, LOL!


Saturday afternoon is errand running including hitting up a new grocery store that opened nearby.

Saturday night will be a fabulous dinner of some sort.


Sunday it's off to the farm where I will of course water what needs to be watered.  One project will be to edge around the fruit tree beds and then...


...it will be time for some Zen Machine fun.  I mentioned in a post earlier in the week that the plan is to clear some new areas, widen some trails, mow under some trees, etc.  It will probably dull the blades but the reason I am doing it Sunday is because we scheduled the John Deere dealer to come pick it up on Monday morning for its annual maintenance.  They do a lot including changing the oil, filters, tightening belts etc and most importantly they sharpen the blades.  

More updates with pictures coming Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

TINY LITTLE GOATS A SORT OF INSPIRATION THURSDAY

Can animal be an inspiration?  I suppose they can be.  Recently we were watching a TV show on farms and gardening and the people owned a few of these little darlings.  We were immediately smitten...

Nigerian Dwarf Goats, image via wikicommons
This is a picture I found online of what breed they had.  They are called Nigerian Dwarf Goats.

Of course I had to immediately "Google" them to see what they were all about.  The link underlined above takes you to the Wiki entry about them.  Apparently they are quite popular according to their National Association NDGA.org.  They produce milk as well, as much as two quarts per day...though we imagine that milking them must be somewhat different than milking a regular size goat.

Perhaps someday, when we are ready at the farm of course and are there full time, we could have these...Do they have to be in a dwarf barn, grazing in a dwarf pasture?  LOL!  

ADORABLE is all we can say.
Be inspired!

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

WHAT IS THAT

A couple of weekends ago, we went to the farm to take some boxes and when we pulled up in front of the house, we saw this...


I opened the car door and said "what is THAT?"  2nd Man said "I have no idea".  You see it there on top of the shed?  I only had my phone camera so I slowly walked toward it to not scare it off.  I got about halfway there and used the zoom.


THERE IT IS!!!

A turkey vulture had decided that the top of the shed was a great place to hang out and rest.  At one point it stretched out its wings and wow it was quite the sight to see.  I wish I had gotten a picture then but it flew off right after that.  

We have a rooster weather vane for the barn but haven't put it up yet.  This was like having one that actually moved, ha.  


Monday, February 3, 2020

SPRING WEATHER AND ALREADY MOWING

Well, as you may have heard on the news or saw on yesterday's post, it was Groundhog Day.

And he did not see his shadow so Spring is coming soon.  Or so the legend goes.


Down here in these parts, we believe it.  I had my first time on the Zen Machine (my riding lawn mower for those new to the blog).  There were parts of the yard that were not too bad and other parts that had lots of growth.


When I finished though it looks so nice and things are getting greener quickly.


You know I love a freshly mowed yard!


I checked with the mowing app and went back through the blog and this is THE EARLIEST I've ever had to mow.  Normal time has always been anywhere from March 8th to the 16th.  I could have actually mowed last weekend were it not for the rain.

So that means I'm mowing at the END OF JANUARY.  What the heck?  It was a gloriously beautiful day so that was nice.


As you can see above, I did not edge but that's on the schedule for the upcoming weekend.


I did however test out the brush/grass for something I haven't been able to do the last few Winters and that is mow into areas that I can't normally mow.


Above is an example of what I like to do.  I take advantage of the brush that is dormant/dead because of the freezes/cold weather and mow over it with the mower to create new paths, widen existing areas and get under trees.  The mower has the largest mowing deck available and has an extra blade in it.  What I do is start clearing new areas now that are too difficult in the Spring/Summer because they are thick with brush.  It is SO easy now.  

We know what you are thinking, this must dull the blades.  It does...BUT I have a plan.  It's time for the mower to go in for its annual maintenance package.  They change the oil, filters, lube everything up and sharpen the blades.  

The plan is to do some major clearing this weekend now that it's mowed and then leave the mower out for the free pickup from the John Deere dealer.

Hope your weekend was great!

Sunday, February 2, 2020

GROUNDHOG DAY SUPER BOWL SUNDAY 02022020

There are three big events today:



Today is Groundhog Day.  We almost forgot since February 2nd ended up being on a Sunday.  

But today, early this morning, he did not see his shadow so EARLY SPRING!

Now if you have snow on the ground right now you will either be glad to hear or find it hard to believe, ha.  We are definitely in Spring weather here.  More on that in tomorrow's post!


Today is also the day of the big game..  The San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs.  Not sure who you are rooting for.  For sure we're looking forward to the commercials, ha.


And then blog friend Colleen reminded us that today is what they call a rare palindrome date.  Today is 02/02/2020...and if you write that same date backwards it is 02/02/2020. 

This is a once in a lifetime date.  It last happened on 11/11/1111 and won't happen again until 12/12/2121.

Mark that on your calendar, ha!

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, January 31, 2020

GARDEN PLANNING FRIDAY FUNNY

OK...we saw this and had to share!



We can definitely relate.  We were discussing what to plant in the garden this year (we skipped last year just to have a break but we miss it).  I mentioned to 2nd Man that it will soon be the season for me to be cranky after being outside in the heat and humidity.

Then we saw this.

True.  So true.  LOL! 

Enjoy your day, it's Friday and we hope that you have a great weekend coming up.